Luke Fickell is doing his best to downplay the importance of his trip back to Ohio Stadium to play the Buckeyes on Saturday.
The University of Cincinnati head coach, who was a gritty defensive lineman for the Buckeyes and later coached 15 years in Columbus, is treating Saturday’s game in the same manner he would if his team was playing a league contest in the American Athletic Conference.
“I can’t allow myself to get involved in any emotional type of things,” said Fickell this week. “I don’t want to talk about who’s going to be there, tickets, different things like that. I’ve avoided that for a long time and we’ll continue to avoid it for five or so more days.”
In an effort to limit distractions, Fickell has kept his players off limits from the media this week.
“It has nothing to do with us playing Ohio State and being 100 miles down the road,” he said. “This is a big stage, and what I want to do is not what we did last year in some of those situations and maybe we got distracted.”
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